If Australians fully realised the degree to which politicians have caused or exacerbated most of the major problems the nation faces, there would be rioting in the streets.
The streets of our major cities would resemble the recent scenes in France if there was a full appreciation of the way politicians create problems, fail to enact solutions to serious problems and/or create legislation that makes a serious problem worse.
Everyone with a mortgage is paying massively higher monthly costs because the Federal Government has taken no action to address rising inflation – leaving it to the Reserve Bank to use the dumb, blunt instrument of lifting interest rates to try to fix the problem.
Households across Australia are dealing with massive increases in energy costs because politicians have messed up the electricity supply system.
We’ve had royal commissions into multiple core issues, including aged care, the behaviour of the big banks, deaths in custody and many other issues – and there’s no evidence of improvement in any of those areas.
Housing affordability has been a massive issue for decades and there have been multiple government inquiries but the problem continues to get worse.
The rental shortage crisis has been building for years – and not only do politicians have no solutions, but every time they pass laws that impact on real estate markets they make it considerably worse.
Think about that for a moment.
We want our elected representatives to find ways to make housing more affordable and we want them to fix the rental shortage, but every time they make a decision or pass a law, they make the situation worse.
Politicians fundamentally have caused these problems and they continue to make them worse.
Right now governments around Australia at a state or territory level are implementing changes to the rules of dwelling construction which add, yet again, to the costs of building new dwellings.
This continues the recent history of changes which, collectively, have added massively to the cost of new homes.
At the same time, multiple governments are making changes to tenancy laws which are favourable to tenants while being onerous to the property owners.
This also is a continuation of recent years, with regular and repeated changes to the rules which have been detrimental to property owners.
Increasingly, they have made property ownership onerous and many discouraged investors have sold – or decided not to get into the market.
That, in simple terms, has created the rental shortage crisis.
In Queensland, the State Government has brought in a new construction code which will add $70,000 to the cost of building a new home.
The NSW Government is planning changes to the tenancy laws in that state which will be favourable to tenants and onerous to the property owners. It has already passed new laws trying to limit rent increases – but the so-called Rental Fairness Bill will make matters worse, not better.
The NSW Government has also appointed a state rental commissioner whose job is to empower renters, which means another assault on the rights of the people who own the properties that people rent.
The NSW Government has also introduced a new tax on developers, called the Housing and Productivity Contribution, which is yet another tax on the housing industry which adds to the cost of creating new homes.
The research shows that, in NSW, up to 50% of the cost of a new house and land package is government taxes, fees and charges – and it keeps getting worse.
A new government report shows that Victoria already has the highest property taxes in Australia – and they’re set to get worse with the recent State Budget bringing in a massive increase in land tax. They’ve also recently increased stamp duty on some property buyers.
And the Victoria State Government is considering bringing in rental caps.
Queensland also tried to bring on a massive increase in land tax paid by investor owners. They failed in that attempt but the attempt alone scared off property investors and added to the state’s chronic rental shortage.
New research has found that Queensland’s failed land tax reform caused “serious, long-term damage to the state’s stock of rental properties”.
MCG Quantity Surveyors managing director Mike Mortlock says analysis of data for over 1,300 clients showed that investors had “fled the market in droves” after the state government announced in June last year that land tax would be calculated on a property owner’s entire Australian portfolio, not just property held in Queensland.
The controversial proposal was ultimately shelved in September last year after pushback from other states who refused to supply data to Queensland to implement the tax.
And it’s not just state governments – local councils have jumped on the “let’s demonise investors and hit them with new taxes” bandwagon.
Local authorities including Brisbane City Council and Hobart City Council have seen an opportunity to raise even more revenue from the housing industry while pretending to be doing it to solve the rental crisis. They’re slugging property owners who use short-term letting with massive increases in rates.
Brisbane City Council has gone overboard and is conducting a full-frontal assault of anyone who uses short-stay strategies with their properties – treating it as being akin to a criminal activity.
In reality, it’s an excuse to raise extra revenue through new taxes but that’s what politicians do.
Local authorities are also preventing the construction of affordable housing because they don’t want increased density – in other words, the NIMBY syndrome is preventing solutions to the housing shortage from being implemented.
And one of the Perth councils, the City of Subiaco, recently brought in new sustainability policies for new dwellings to get approval which will add close to $20,000 to the cost of building new dwellings.
Meanwhile, at a federal level, the Federal Government has been unable to implement its $10 billion social housing fund to deal with the housing crisis, because the Greens are blocking it.
And we have the ATO conducting an assault of investment property owners which is based on the assumption that all investors are crooks ripping off the system, with each of us considered guilty until proven innocent.
The only politician right across Australia who has said or done anything sensible about the rental shortage crisis is the Federal Housing Minister Julie Collins.
Speaking on ABC News Breakfast in June, she said it was nonsense to demand that the Federal Government create a cap on rentals because they don’t have the power to do so.
She said: “Everyone knows the Commonwealth doesn’t have the power to cap rents.”
Even if the government did have the capacity, she stated, “we have data and evidence, rent caps don’t work and it puts downward pressure on supply”.
“What we need to do is add supply,” she asserted.
Exactly, they need to increase the supply of dwellings – and they’re trying to, but the Greens are blocking the legislation in the Senate because they want rental caps.
The Greens, let’s face it, are the worst representation of the problems that politicians cause, instead of creating solutions.
They want to being in rental caps, scrap negative gearing and massively increase the capital gains tax.
They did all of that in Ireland – and that country now has the world’s worst situation for people who need to rent.
Australia has a rental shortage crisis, but Ireland has an absolute catastrophe with close to zero vacancies – because they did what the Greens want to do it Australia.